How to Hang an Eclectic Collection
Using color and placement to unify an assortment of art
Stylist Grant Whittaker has a strategy for keeping a diverse collection of wall-mounted art from looking like a mismatched jumble. By choosing one color family and selecting items that repeat those hues, even the most eclectic grouping looks unified. Here’s how to try this decorating technique at home:
Begin with an inspirational piece—Whittaker chose this painting from his personal collection, but it could be any colorful piece of furniture, drapery, or art—to build your color palette. Now gather several pieces of art that pick up and repeat those tones. In this example, Whittaker chose items that featured various shades of blue, from aqua, to cerulean, to robbin’s egg. It’s okay to choose works of different styles and materials; variation in size, shape, and color will only strengthen the grouping’s impact.
Hang the tallest piece first, on the left-hand side of the wall, to anchor the composition. Next, hang your most dramatic piece just to its right. This second piece will serve as the grouping’s central focus. Finally, hang the rest of the art around the focal piece. Uniform spacing tends to look stiff with diverse collections, so feel free to stagger the pieces in a way thatpleases the eye.
Finish the look by adding decorative pillows and tabletop accessories that repeat the color tones. In this example, Whittaker picked up blues in several shades and values, both dark and light, bright and dull.
What if you don’t have enough pieces to pull together a color-themed collection? Whittaker suggests creating your own color gradation artwork using craft paper, inspired by the fashion and haircoloring trend ombre (French for “shade”) and paint swatches. Choose several shades of the same color and overlap them at consistent intervals. Use spray adhesive to adhere the colored papers. Then use poster tape or foam mounting squares to affix to the gradations to the wall, or frame them and hang.
Rachel Hutton is the Interim editor of Midwest Home.
More information on featured products and suppliers, please see our Buyer's Guide.